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You can’t tolerate poor batting: Vaas

July 28 (DN) SL’s fast bowling coach Chaminda Vaas came down hard on the Sri Lanka batsmen for not putting up a decent batting performance on the second day of the first Test against India. “If any side gets 600 there is pressure on the opposition team’s batsmen. But even so, we didn’t bat well. Some batsmen got out early. That’s something that a team can’t tolerate – but that’s the nature of the game,” said Vaas. more..

Locally milled rice to be released to market

July 28 (GDI) A huge quantity of locally milled rice that usually garners strong domestic appeal is to hit the markets immediately-perhaps as early as next week. “Now we have decided to get local paddy stocks to the market as well” said Minister Rishad Bathiudeen. He was reviewing the latest rice market status in Colombo with his officials. “Due to stocks from overseas suppliers, rice shortage is ending” he said. “Now we have decided to get local paddy stocks to the market as well. more..

Qatar Airways boosts Colombo service to 4 daily non-stop

July 28 (FT)  Qatar Airways yesterday announced that it would introduce a fourth daily non-stop service from Doha to Colombo from 1 August. In addition, two of the four daily flights will be serviced by the B777-300ER aircraft to accommodate the increased travel demand to and from Sri Lanka. The increased frequency and aircraft upgauge will boost overall capacity to and from Colombo by 3,136 seats weekly, a 20% increase from current weekly capacity.  more..

Sanofi responds to Rajitha on dengue vaccine efficacy

July 28 (FT) With reference to a Daily FT article which appeared yesterday titled Rajitha says dengue vaccine not effective enough, a Sanofi Pasteur spokesperson issued the following clarification. The article states:  “The effectiveness of the vaccine is only 52% so we cannot just give the medicine to the people telling them that the vaccine will prevent them from contracting the disease,” Minister Rajitha Senaratne said more..

JKH kicks off FY18 on a strong note

July 28 (FT) Premier blue chip John Keells Holdings (JKH) has begun the 2017/18 financial year on a strong note with double-digit growth in the top line and bottom line. The company announced that the group’s profit before tax (PBT) at Rs. 4.09 billion in the first quarter of the financial year 2017/18 was an increase of 14% over a year earlier. The profit attributable to equity holders grew by 19% to Rs. 2.83 billion. Revenue was up 18% to Rs. 26.82 billion in the first quarter. more..

Samantha R. appointed to BOC Board

July 28 (FT) Minister Kabir Hashim has appointed Samantha Rajapaksa to the Board of Bank of Ceylon as a Non-Executive Director with effect from 25 July. Rajapaksa is a Fellow member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of SL, Chartered Institute of Management Accountants of UK and a Member of the Chartered Institute of Marketing of UK. He also holds an MBA from the University of Sri J'pura. He is the Group Managing Director of Associated Motorways Ltd., more..

Provincial Councils Amendment Bill in Aug

July 28 (CT) Parliament is set to debate amendments to the Provincial Councils Act next month bringing the date for the much anticipated Provincial Councils poll closer. Leader of the House Lakshman Kiriella told Parliament that a date would be fixed for the poll immediately after the amendments are passed. Govt's announcement comes as PAFFREL, citing the repeated postponements of LG elections, has said that there was an unwillingness on more..

Expect unexpected power cuts: CEB

July 28 (DM) CEB said that unexpected power failures could be experienced across the country due to several reasons including a decrease of hydro-power generation. CEB media spokesman said power failures could occur whenever there is a high electricity demand in a given area. However, he said the power cuts would not affect areas where there are hospitals. Commenting on the reasons behind power failures, he said a 300 MW phase at Norochcholai plant is yet to be repaired. more..

‘Politicians never hit by strikes’

July 28 (Island)  Very critical institutions, such as those in the health and petroleum sectors, must resort to strike action once other settlement mechanisms are exhausted. If not  the people have to suffer and not the politicians, Director, Verite Research Dr. Nishan de Mel said. He said that all workers of such institutions should strike a balance between rights and responsibilities. "This has to be considered by every worker. This strike has crippled country's day to day activities but more..

Shiranthi skips CID summons

July 28 (DN) Former First Lady Shiranthi Rajapaksa failed to appear before the CID yesterday. Police Media Spokesperson SP Ruwan Gunasekara said that she had sought another date to appear at the CID. He said that CID summoned the former first lady to record a statement about a jeep related to Siriliya Saviya Foundation. She was was due to appear before the investigators at 9 am yesterday. more..

A temporary salve: Implications of an oil bear market on the SL economy

July 28 (IPS)  Sri Lanka’s fuel bill has been spiraling as of late. According to a recent Central Bank press releaseon external sector performance, petroleum purchases for the first four months of 2017 were estimated at US$ 1.2 billion. This represents a colossal 75% increase in the value of such imports, when compared to tabulated estimates for the corresponding period last year. This development is of great concern. Given Sri Lanka’s dependency on imported fuel for domestic consumption, more..

Commercial Bank introduces Sri Lanka’s first chip and PIN debit card

July 28 (LBO) Commercial Bank has introduced Mastercard debit cards with chip and PIN technology for the first time to the country. “These cards replace the existing Maestro debit cards with magnetic strips. The new Chip and PIN debit card will minimise the possibility of fraudulent transactions at Point-of-Sale (POS) due to PIN requirement,” Bank said. “This technology renders the new Mastercard debit cards smart and significantly increases the security level of the card more..

Public sector strikes: TNA endorses govt action

July 28 (Island) The TNA called on workers to exercise their right to trade union action in a very responsible and constructive manner. TNA MP MA Sumanthiran said that resorting to strike action at the drop of a hat devalued the most potent weapon at the disposal of the working class. The MP said those who controlled the GMOA often held the country to ransom by going on strike for flimsy reasons. more..

Amnesty granted for Sri Lankan migrant workers in Lebanon

July 28 (FT) Sri Lankan Govt’s bilateral efforts to regularise nearly 7,000 undocumented migrant workers in Lebanon commenced recently. After near year-long negotiations with the Lebanese Govt, a special resolution was passed by the host country last February to repatriate all undocumented Sri Lankan workers. Under this scheme, undocumented workers who are above the age of 60 and have stayed beyond 15 years have been granted total amnesty without any charges. more..

Strikers were assaulted by angry public: Dayasiri

July 28 (Island) Minister Dayasiri Jayasekera warns trade unionists to go ahead with their agitation at the risk of getting beaten by the general public inconvenienced by endless strikes. He denied that the govt had a hand in goon attacks on the CPC workers during a strike on Wednesday. "It was the general public, inconvenienced by the CPC strike, who assaulted the strikers. We had no hand in those incidents." Minister said the workers had a right to resort to trade union action. more..

Four Sri Lanka migrants cleared of people trafficking in Canada

July 28 (CBC) Canadian Supreme Court judge has acquitted four Sri Lankan men on charges of human smuggling in relation to the arrival of 76 Tamil migrants on the MV Ocean Lady ship nearly 9 years ago. Ramshackle vessel traveled across the Pacific Ocean for an estimated 45 days before it arrived in B.C. in October of 2009. Four people aboard, Francis Appulonappa, Hamalraj Handasamy, Jeyachandran Kanagarajah more..

Arjuna didn't say final was fixed, says Murali

July 28 (TT) Muttiah Muralidharan doesn't wish to read much into Arjuna Ranatunga's demand for a probe into Sri Lanka's 2011 World Cup final loss to India. SL's only 50-over World Cup-winning captain recently said he had been shocked by their six-wicket defeat in the final. "I was also in India doing commentary at the time. When we lost, I was distressed and I had a doubt," Ranatunga was quoted as saying. "We must investigate what happened to SL in the 2011 World Cup final. more..

Pradeep unhappy despite six scalps

July 28 (DH) Nuwan Pradeep was the lone bright spot in another poor show by SL in the first two days of the opening Test here. The paceman claimed 6/130, spread equally over the two days, for his maiden five-wicket haul in Tests but his joy had tinge of disappointment as India still managed to post 600 all out. “Can’t be happy with the performance,” said Pradeep after the day’s play. “A lot of our plans went badly. We had to go to new plans but they didn’t always work as well. more..

Video: Dengue prevention: All govt, provincial & semi govt schools closed today

July 28 (DM) Over 10,300 schools, including National, Provincial and Semi-Govt schools across the country would be closed for educational activities today as a part of extensive three-day dengue prevention campaign, Education Minister Akila Viraj Kariyawasam said. Minister said he had instructed the officials that all schools should be closed for educational activities today. He said two circulars have been issued in this regard. more..

Police protected thugs who attacked CPC workers: JVP

July 28 (Island) JVP leader Anura Kumara Dissanayake told Parliament that police had given protection to thugs who attacked the striking workers of the CPC on Wednesday. He said that the govt sponsored thugs had brutally assaulted the strikers while the police looked the other way. Dissanayake said that the Officer in Charge of Welikada police had assaulted a trade unionist while the latter was in police custody. "The unionist is a highly educated person by the name of Ranwala. more..

Former govt sold our lands outright: We changed it: President

July 28 (DN) President Maithripala Sirisena in a speech encompassing all issues that have been in public discourse said that a majority of the people should not be victimised due to the conspiracies of a few. “It was the previous regime that sold our land outright, unlike any previous regime. 200 acres were sold outright for the port city project to a Chinese company. It was after we assumed duties that we changed it to a lease agreement” he said. He further said that under his leadership more..

More trade unions to join agitations against goon attacks on CPC workers

July 28 (Island)  Political parties and civil organisations opposed to the handover of the Hambantota and Trinco oil tank farms to China and India respectively are organising a series of agitations shortly. Ceylon Teachers’ Union (CTU), Free Trade Zones and General Services Employees Union (FTZGSU) and several other associations are currently discussing action to be taken against the suppression of workers’ rights. more..

Strikes should strike a balance

July 28 (DM) With fuel supplies being gradually restored to normal by yesterday evening, there appeared to be widespread public support for the national unity govt’s decision to crack down and issue a gazette notification declaring fuel supplies as an essential service. The order, effective from midnight Tuesday, warned that CPC employees who did not report to work on Tuesday, would be deemed to have vacated their posts. Following crisis discussions till late on Tuesday more..

Humanity surpasses all: How Nallur incident is used by all to further their agendas

July 28 (DM) The motive behind shooting at the Policemen providing security to Jaffna High Court Judge Manikkavasagar Ilanchezian is not clear yet. One of the Policemen injured in the incident, a Sergeant died later at the Jaffna Teaching Hospital, while many people were attempting to interpret the incident in a manner that suits their political agendas. Meanwhile, the Police Spokesman SSP Ruwan Gunasekara is being taken to task by the loyalists of former President Rajapaksa, more..

'President has no mandate to abolish executive presidency'

July 28 (DM) National List MP Ven. Athuraliye Rathana Thera, who played a pivotal role in the election of President Maithripala Sirisena, speaks about the constitution making process and what should be done. He responded to matters raised by Govt MP Jayampathi Wickramaratne in a previous interview. It is a fallacy for someone to believe that the current social and economic problems can be resolved merely more..

More issues on the controversial Uma Oya project

July 28 (SL) More issues are on the cards with the controversial Uma Oya project with environmentalists warning that they will gather in Bandarawela and Badulla to decide the future cause of action. They point out that despite discussions, the Govt is yet to take a firm decision in this regard. “Green Heart Initiative of the Centre for Human Rights wrote to the VC of the University of Sri J'pura requesting him to take necessary steps more..

Govt cuts Gordian knot on polythene ban; industry in crisis

July 28 (ST) Polythene manufacturers and recyclers say, while they aren’t opposed to the ban on certain types of polythene, Govt insistence on enforcing it from September is impractical, and will put many in the industry out of business. Industry representatives met with Deputy Minister Anuradha Jayaratne as well as senior officials from Ministry & Central Environment Authority (CEA), to voice their concerns. more..

CPC suffered huge loss due to strike, damage: Arjuna

July 28 (Island) Minister Arjuna Ranatunga told Parliament that the CPC had incurred huge losses suffered and damages owing to the strike by its workers over the past few days. Ranatunga said he would furnish a report in that regard to the House shortly. He said: "We issued the Gazette because we saw how the public was inconvenienced due to the trade union action. Govt is grappling with many issues such as more..

Sri Lanka turn down PCB's invitation to play T20 in Pakistan

July 28 (PTI) The Sri Lankan cricket board has turned down an invitation from the Pakistan Cricket Board to send its team to Lahore to play two T20 matches at the start of its home series in October. PCB Chairman, Shaharyar Khan confirmed that after the suicide bomb attack in Lahore earlier this week, Sri Lankan cricket authorities has refused to send their team for the T20 matches. "I had spoken to my Sri Lankan cricket counterpart more..

Betel chew not banned under new regulations

July 28 (Island) Health Ministry said regular consumption of betel and arecanut would not be affected by new regulations banning the manufacture and import of smokeless tobacco products. Chairman of the National Authority on Tobacco & Alcohol (NATA), Palitha Abeykoon said that the new regulation banned the manufacture, import and sale of smokeless tobacco products and tobacco-based electronic cigarettes. more..

PC poll postponement: PAFFREL, CaFFE express concern

July 28 (DM) A number of local election watchdogs yesterday raised concerns over the Cabinet decision to introduce amendments to the Provincial Councils Election Act no. 2 of 1998 enabling elections to all PCs to be conducted on a single day citing the holding of PC polls on a scattered basis was a waste of state funds and the negative effect it had on democracy. PAFFREL Executive Director Rohana Hettiarachchi said more..

EU clarifies decision on LTTE

July 28 (NR) European Union issuing a follow-up statement today reiterated that, despite the ruling by the European Court of Justice to remove the LTTE from the terrorism list, organization at present remains designated as a terrorist organization in EU, and EU’s restrictive measures against the LTTE remain in force. A statement by the delegation of EU to SL said in 2006, Council placed LTTE on a terrorist list more..

'Sri Lankan youngsters not doing enough'

July 28 (PTI) Muttiah Muralitharan today blamed non-performing youngsters and an unsettled combination for SL cricket team's woes in recent times. Lankan cricket is in deep crisis at the moment after losing an ODI series to minnows Zimbabwe at home for the first time in their history. For the 11th-ranked Zimbabwe, it was also their first overseas triumph in eight years as Angelo Mathews stepped down as captain from all formats. more..

Parliament adjourns without debating Hambantota Port deal

July 28 (LBO) Parliament was adjourned following a tense situation in the chamber with opposition MPs staging a protest. Parliament was adjourned until August 4th when the govt was prepared to pass the essential services gazette on petroleum. JVP leader Anura Kumara Dissanayaka, protesting against the vote, said it should be taken after necessary answers provided by the govt about the alleged attacks to CPC unions. more..

Extortionists get Rs. 10 mn, demand more, get arrested

July 28 (Island) Two extortionists who obtained Rs. 10 mn from a businessman and demanded Rs. 5 mn more by threatening to kill his daughter have been arrested. Police said the arrests had been made following a complaint lodged by the wealthy businessman, a resident of Kosgoda that a gang had exacted a large amount of money from him and was demanding more by threatening to harm his daughter. The victim admitted that he had paid the ransom as he feared for the safety of his child more..

Sri Lanka road crash study highlights need for tougher enforcement

July 28 (EN) A study of road crashes on two Sri Lankan highways has called for tougher enforcement of the law since drivers without licences, riders without helmets and head-on collisions were involved in many of the fatalities.  Three-quarters of the victims were less than 50 years of age, and among them 25% were younger than 27 years, according to the study presented at R4TLI-2017 or Research for Transport & Logistics Industry conference. more..

පැතිකඩට ආ ප්žරේක්ෂක ප්žරතිචාර

Wake up call for TUs

July 28 (CT) What do you call a Nation State that is run by the needs and feels of its major trade unions? A kakistocracy (yes, such a term actually exists. Go Google it.) Then again, a State controlled by the worst, least qualified and the most unscrupulous of its citizens can't be as bad as what Sri Lanka experienced (is currently going through an unfortunate predicament that surfaced with the current political administration coming into power) earlier this week. more..

The delicious ironies of idiotic democracy

July 28 (FT) Life, as a musically-inclined poet of a previous age once essayed, is what happens when you are planning to do something else. Well, the same may be said for the intentions of Good Governance: that the best-laid plans of mice and men gang aft agley; as another poet-philosopher had it. There they are – perhaps still planning to do what is best… for themselves, their near and dear, and the nation at large – and not necessarily in that order.  more..

Chamari Atapattu signs with Yorkshire

July 28 (CI) Chamari Atapattu has become the first Sri Lankan woman to sign a contract with a franchise-based T20 league. She will represent Yorkshire Diamonds in the second edition of the Kia Super League that kicks off from August 10. Atapattu has been picked as a replacement for Beth Mooney, the Australia opener, who pulled out citing injury concerns. "I was on holiday with my family in Anuradhapura when I got a call, more..